British YouTube star KSI said rival Jake Paul hampered his chances of breaking into the music industry after his collaboration with a major rapper flopped.
KSI, who has more than 20 million subscribers on YouTube, making him one of the platform’s most popular creators, is himself a rapper and recently released his latest single Wake Up Call.
However, he said performers from the video sharing website find it harder to be taken seriously in the mainstream music industry.
KSI, whose real name is Olajide William “JJ” Olatunji, pointed to It’s Everyday Bro, fellow YouTuber Paul’s 2017 track with US rapper Gucci Mane, as one of the reasons.
Speaking to Euphoria magazine, he said: “You know, people like Jake Paul kind of ruined it for the rest of us, he did a collaboration with Gucci Mane and it just didn’t do anything. If anything, it f***** Gucci Mane’s career in a sense, it was worthless and nobody wanted to do collabs because that wasn’t a good collab.”
KSI is perhaps Britain’s best-known YouTuber. In November he fought a boxing match with another star of the platform, Logan Paul, who is Jake’s older brother.
The bout was reportedly one of the sport’s most popular box office attractions of the year and KSI said he is keen to continue spreading his wings beyond YouTube.
“I feel like I’m one of the first to pioneer this new wave of showing that YouTubers can do things good,” he said.
“Yes, YouTubers can do things, but it’s one thing to do it good and I’m trying to show that we can, whether it’s boxing, whether it’s music, whether it’s whatever the hell you want.”
KSI pointed to Joe Sugg, who took part in Strictly Come Dancing, as another YouTuber who has moved beyond the platform.
Watford-born KSI’s YouTube channel has achieved more than five billion combined views and he believes he deserves more respect from the music industry.
He said: “If a normal musician, in quotation marks, got the numbers I got, it’d be crazy, they’d be left-right-and-centre but because I’m a YouTuber, you know, it’s different.
“I feel like I should be at that same level and I have to work five times harder than everyone else to get to the position but I’m going to do it, that’s just how it is.”
Read the full interview in Euphoria Magazine out now.